Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Transfer New Horizons Data

You can finally transfer your Animal Crossing saves to another system. Our New Horizons save transfer guide outlines all the steps and options.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally getting save transfer support thanks to its big November 19 update. However, the New Horizons save transfer process isn't as simple as just sending everything over. Since the process is different from other Switch games, our quick guide will show you how it's done. 

How to Transfer Saves in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The first step in transferring your New Horizons save is downloading the newest Winter update

You'll need to connect your Switch to the Internet, and if it doesn't update automatically:

  • Highlight the game icon
  • Press "+"
  • Choose "Software Update, Via the Internet"

Once that's done, head to the Switch eShop.

You'll need to download the free Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Transfer Tool from there, and the Transfer Tool is what you'll use to manage the actual transfer.

You get two save transfer options to choose from, and you need the original (source) system and the new (target) system handy for both options.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Entire Island Transfer

The first option is "Entire Island Transfer." As the name suggests, this option sends over everything from your island — island representative (whoever was first to settle on the island), all animals and additional human residents, plus all progress and customization.

Nintendo said this method is mainly intended for those wanting to play on a new Switch system.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Resident Move (Single Player Transfer)

The second option is "Resident Move (Single Player Transfer)," and it's meant for non-island representatives who want to carry their game to a new island.

That resident, their house, and "most" items in storage and their pockets will be transferred. Nintendo didn't say which items aren't carried over but promised more information once the transfer feature goes live November 19.

If the target system has no existing New Horizons save data, then residentsd will automatically start a new island. However, if the target system already has save data, then the transferred resident will join that island.

The "Resident Move" option can move more than one resident. However, it cannot be used to transfer the island representative, and the animals stay on the source system.

We'll update with any additional New Horizons save transfer information once the game's winter update goes live. Meanwhile, be sure to check out our other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for more tips.

Contributor

Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Nov. 17th 2020

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